Space Products & Innovation
Retail, Finance, and Corporate Services
Satellite simulation software and banking fraud prevention software—one became more robust and accurate thanks to the experience garnered from the other. Feedzai is a company that took its expertise in developing ESA satellite mission simulation software for space and applied it to the detection of fraudulent activities on Earth. The particular satellite mission software created by Feedzai’s founders simulates a complex “software universe” that was originally developed as a solution to train operators on satellites and systems while in development.
As space activities and businesses using space assets grow, entrepreneurs are sensing opportunities in a growing space market. Mixing terrestrial legal expertise with Earth observation technologies, some lawyers are beginning to understand the benefits of space assets in cases that might have otherwise been difficult to win. Legal companies such as Air & Space Evidence are offering specialized space-centric services to clients who might need them. The company uses satellite imagery as part of its toolkit to combat fraud, find and monitor illegal activities, verify environmental claims, and conduct other activities.
Scientific and technological advances from space have added a performance-improving tool to the arsenal of professional sports teams and training centers. Kinexon One is a new addition that promises to improve individual and team performance by providing highly accurate data of athlete movements during training. Smaller than a mobile phone, the device contains both inertial sensors and a GNSS receiver. The combination of location information from these two sources provides precise location tracking as athletes move.
Companies can capitalize on smartphones with GNSS receivers in new ways to reduce their operating costs. Microjobbing, or crowdsourcing small jobs rather than dispatching employees to perform a simple task, is the aim of German startup company “wer denkt was” and its smartphone application AppJobber. Registered users of AppJobber can view nearby microjobs on a map and complete the requested task in exchange for a few euros transferred from the company into their AppJobber account.
The Climate Corporation provides tailored weather insurance to farmers based on a database of satellite and ground weather data collected over the past 30 years, adjusted for the impact of climate change. Farmers state the levels of rainfall and temperature ranges for which they would like coverage, and the database is used by Climate Corporation to calculate the risk and associated cost of the insurance. The company was purchased in October 2013 by agriculture giant Monsanto for $1 billion, illustrating that data services related to satellite-based Earth observation are viewed as a valuable addition to efforts to improve crop yields and profits.
New space-based services created to assist companies and inform investors continue to emerge. Satellite information can benefit certain activities, such as commodities trading, that directly depend on raw material. In September 2013, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer, heralding an increased wave of oil trade investment in China. Yet while the United States releases official figures detailing net oil imports, stockpiles, and refinery figures, China is largely silent on oil consumption data.
Inspired by the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nestlé devised its own version of the Golden Ticket contest, but with a decidedly space-age twist. Customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland who discover one of six GPS trackers packaged with a Nestlé chocolate bar will win £10,000 ($15,706).